Poker has a language somewhat to itself. Johnny 5 provides you with a glossary to familiarize yourself with poker terms.
A full house with three aces and any pair.
Ace-High A five card hand that contains one Ace, with no straight or flush or a hand with no
pair in it.
A hand that contains two pairs, one of which is Aces.
Action Checking/Betting/Raising. A game in which players are playing a lot of pots is
considered an "action" game.
Any player who is still in the hand.
A purchase of more chips (optional) at the end of the re-buy period in a tournament.
All-In When a player bets all his/her chips.: In online poker, you may be deemed "All-in"
when you are disconnected (even if you have chips remaining).
Money placed in the pot before the hand is begun.
B Bad Beat
When a hand is beaten by a lucky draw.
A draw and/or catch to an Inside Straight.
To place chips into the pot.
Bet the Pot
When a player bets the amount of the pot.
A straight that is A-2-3-4-5.
Big Blind A designated amount that is placed by the player sitting in the second position,
clockwise from the dealer, before any cards are dealt. (Players joining a game in
progress must post a Big Blind, but may do so from any position.)
A hand that contains an A-K.
Blind The bet(s) that must be made by the two players sitting directly to the dealer's leftwhich will start the action on the first round of betting. The blinds are posted before
any cards are dealt. (A "Blind" bet is one that is made in the dark without looking at
When a player raises without looking at his hand.
Bluff To make other players believe that one has a better hand than he/she might otherwise
betting or raising when they do not have the best hand.
Boardcards The cards that are dealt face-up in a poker game for all players to see. In flop games, five cards are dealt face-up in the center of the table. In Seven Card Stud, four cards
are dealt face-up in front of each player.
Bottom Pair When a player uses the lowest card on the flop to make a pair with one of his own
An Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10).
Bring-In The forced bet made on the first round of betting by the player who is dealt the lowest card showing in Seven Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better. In Razz (Lowball) it is
the highest card showing
Bring It In
To start the betting on the first round.
A player who antes himself broke.
A pair of Aces.
Button Also known as the dealer button, it is a small round disk that is moved from player to
player in a clockwise direction following each hand, to theoretically indicate the
dealer of each hand.
Buy-In The minimum amount of money required by a player to sit down in a particular
When a player chooses to match the previous bet.
To call both a bet and raise(s).
To take the last of the maximum amount of raises allowed per round of betting.
The room or space in a casino where poker is played.
A player's last chips.
To leave a game and convert your chips to cash.
When it's a player's turn to act and there has been no action in front of them and he
opts not to bet, he "checks."
When a player first checks and then raises in a betting round.
Chop To return the blinds to the players who posted them and move on to the next hand if
no other players call. It also means to "split the pot".
When two or more players conspire to cheat in a poker game.
Cards that are face-up and used by all players.
Dead Man's Hand Two pair - Aces and Eights (Wild Bill Hickock was shot in the back while playing
This is the first exposed card, or "up" card, in a player's hand in Stud games.
Hole cards. Cards that are dealt face down.
Doyle Brunson It's a Holdem hand consisting of a 10-2 (Brunson won the world championship two
years in a row on the final hand with these cards).
Draw Lowball Form of poker where each player is dealt five cards with the option of discarding one
or more and replacing them with new ones and the low hand wins.
Draw Poker Form of poker where each player is dealt five cards down with the option of
discarding one or more and replacing them with new ones to attempt to make a better
A pair of Twos.
A pair of Twos.
Early Position Position on a round of betting where the player must act before most of the other players at the table. (It's considered the two positions located to the left of the Blinds.
Also known as the "river" card. In flop games, this represents the fifth community
card on the table and the final round of betting. In Stud games, this is the fifth card
dealt to each player and represents the third round of betting.
Five-card Draw A poker game in which the player is dealt five cards down. They have one draw to
replace them and the best high hand wins the pot.
Five-card Stud A poker game in which each player is dealt five cards, one down and four up, with
betting after 2, 3, 4, & 5 cards.
Calling a bet without raising.
Flop In Hold'em and Omaha, the first three community cards that are dealt face-up in the
center of the table all at one time. The "flop" also indicates the second round of
Flop Games Poker games (Hold 'em and Omaha) that are played using community cards that are
dealt face up in the center of the table.
An employee of the cardroom who makes rulings and decisions.
Any five cards of the same suit.
Flush Draw When a player has four cards in his hand of the same suit and is hoping to draw a
fifth to make a flush.
To throw your hand away when it's your turn to act.
A required bet that starts the action on the first round of a poker hand.
Four of a Kind
Four cards of the same number or face value ("quads").
Fourth Street In flop games, it is the fourth community card dealt (also known as "the turn") and represents the third round of betting. In Stud games, it is the fourth card dealt to each
player and represents the second round of betting.
Full House Any three cards of the same number or face value, plus any other two cards of the
same number or face value.
To draw to and/or hit an inside straight.
A player's best five cards.
High-Card To decide the first dealer in the flop tournaments each user is dealt a single card and
the player with the highest card (based on the card and the suit order - of spades,
hearts, diamonds & clubs) becomes the theoretical dealer.
Split pot games.
Also known as Texas Hold 'em, where the players get two down cards and five
cards. See our complete Hold 'em rules in our Game Rules section.
These are the Down Cards in front of the players.
The casino or cardroom that is hosting the poker game.
Four cards which require another between the top and the bottom card to complete a
. Players who catch this card make an Inside Straight.
Jackpot Poker A form of poker in which the cardroom or casino offers a jackpot to a player who has
lost with a really big hand (usually Aces full or better).
Jacks-or- Better A form of poker in which a player needs to have at least a pair of jacks to open the
Kansas City Lowball Form of lowball poker in which the worst poker hand (2, 3, 4, 5, 7 of different suits)
is the best hand. It's also known as Deuce to Seven.
Keep Them Honest
To call at the end of a hand to prevent someone from bluffing.
A card that gives you a big draw or makes your hand.
Key Hand In a session or tournament, the one hand that ends up being a turning point for the
player, either for better or worse.
The highest unpaired side card in a players' hand.
Kill Pot A method to stimulate action. It is a forced bet by someone who has just won a
A hand that contains a K-J.
Late Position Position on a round of betting where the player must act after most of the other
players have acted (usually considered to be the two positions next to the
Lay Down Your Hand
When a player folds.
The first player to bet into a pot.
Limit Poker A game that has fixed minimum and maximum betting intervals along with a
prescribed number of raises.
The first player who calls a bet.
Limp In To enter the pot by calling rather than raising. (The usual concept of "Limp In" is
when the first person to speak just calls the Big Blind.)
Live Blind An instance where the player puts in a dark bet and is allowed to raise, even if no
other player raises. It's also known as an
In Stud Games, cards that have not yet been seen and are presumed to still be in play.
A hand that could still win the pot.
A not so knowledgeable player who plays a lot of hands.
When a player calls the final bet before the showdown.
Is a player who plays a lot hands.
Is a form of draw poker in which the lowest hand wins the pot.
Main Pot The center pot. Any other bets are placed in a side pot(s) and are contested among
the remaining players. This occurs when a player(s) goes
To make the deck is to shuffle the deck.
A very aggressive player who plays a lot of hands.
Middle Pair In flop games, when a player makes a pair with one of his/her down cards and the
middle card on the
Middle Position Somewhere between the early and late positions on a round of betting (the fifth, sixth
and seventh seats to the left of the
Muck To discard or throw away your hand. It's also a pile of cards that are no longer in
The least amount you can start a game with.
Monster A very big hand. In a tournament, a player who begins to accumulate chips after
having a small stack is considered to be a monster.
No Limit A game where players can bet as much as they like (as long as they have it in front of
them) on any round of betting.
The best possible hand at any point of the game. A hand that cannot be beat.
The probability of making a hand vs. the probability of not making a hand.
Cards of a different suit.
Omaha A game in which each player is dealt four down cards with five community cards. To
make your hand, you must play two cards from your hand and three from the board.
To make the first bet.
Open-ended Straight Four consecutive cards whereby one additional (consecutive) card is needed at either
end to make a
A card that is dealt face-up.
A pair that has been dealt face-up.
Option An option is a Live Blind made in the dark before the cards are dealt. If no one
raises, the "option" player may raise the pot.
Out Button A disc placed in front of a player who wishes to sit out a hand(s) but remain in the
Face or picture cards (Jack, Queen and King).
Two cards of the same face or number value.
Pay Off To call on the final round of betting when you may or may not think you have the
Face cards (Jack, Queen and King).
To raise or re-raise another player's bet.
Playing the Board
In flop games when your best five card hand is all five of the community cards.
The down cards or hole cards.
A pair of Aces in the pocket or hole.
Position Where a player is seated in relation to the dealer, therefore establishing that player's
place in the betting order.
When you post a bet, you place your chips in the pot. (You must post the Blinds.)
The money or chips in the center of a table that players try to win.
This is a game where the maximum bet can equal the pot.
A person hired by the cardroom to work as a shill.
Push When the dealer pushes the chips to the winning player at the end of a hand. It's also
when dealers rotate to other tables.
To fold a hand.
Four of a kind.
In High-Low games, it is a requirement the Low hand must meet to win the pot.
A tray that holds 100 poker chips in five stacks of twenty chips each.
The rim of a poker table or a barrier outside a poker area.
Railbird Someone who hangs around a poker room who watches the games and/or is looking
to get into action.
To increase the previous bet.
Chips taken from the pot by the cardroom for compensation for hosting the game.
The value of each card and hand.
When a player knocks on the table indicating that he/she has checked.
Seven Card Stud where the lowest five cards win the pot.
Re-buy The amount of money a player pays to add a fixed number of chips to his/her stack in
To raise a raise.
A "live" game that is not a tournament.
River This is the last card given in all games. In Hold'em and Omaha, it is also known as
5th street. In
Stud games, it is also known as 7th street.
Round of Betting This is when players have the opportunity to bet, check or raise. Each round of
betting ends when the last bet or raise has been called.
Rounders Guys who hustle for a living. This is also the name of a popular poker movie starring
Matt Damon and Ed Norton.
Royal Flush This is an Ace high straight (A-K-Q-J-10) of the same suit. It is the best possible
hand in poker.
It is a mini-tournament to gain an entry into a larger tournament.
To win the entire pot.
Seating List A waiting list. A player would put his or her name on this list if there were no seats at
the table at which they wish to play.
In flop games, when you pair the second highest card on the board.
Seven-card Stud A well-known poker game in which players get three down cards and four up cards. You play the best five of those seven cards. Click here for information on Seven-card
This is the final round of betting in Seven Card Stud and Stud 8 or Better.
Shills are paid props who help start and maintain poker games.
Showdown At the end of the final betting round, it's when all active players turn their cards faceup
to see who has won the
Side Pot A separate pot(s) which is contested by remaining active players when one or more
players are all-in.
Sixth Street In Seven-card Stud, this is the fourth "up" card dealt to the player (their 6th card). It
is also the 4th round of betting.
A fairly tight player (and reasonably good).
Small Blind The amount put in the pot by the person immediately to the left of the dealer "button"
prior to the cards being dealt.
A pair of fives.
A pile of chips.
When a player remains in the game by calling rather than raising.
A five high straight (A-2-3-4-5) of the same suit.
Straddle A straddle is a Blind bet which is usually double the size of the Big Blind (and that
player may raise when the action gets to him).
Five consecutive cards of any suit.
Five consecutive cards of the same suit.
The limits put on the blinds/ante, bets, and raises in any particular game.
Games in which players get down cards and up cards.
A player who is losing in a game.
This is also the name for Hold'em, the most popular form of poker.
Third Street In Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud 8 or Better, this is the first betting round on
the first three cards.
Three of a Kind
Three cards of the same number or face value ("trips").
Tight A player who doesn't play many pots. A tight game is one that doesn't have much
Tournament of Champions.
Top Pair In flop games, when the player pairs one of his down cards with the highest card on
A pair of threes.
Three of a kind.
In flop games, this is the fourth card dealt. It is the third round of betting.